Be careful Rockford, there have been bats found in Illinois that have tested positive for rabies.

The Illinois Department of Public Health would like people and their pets to be cautious as 17 bats have already tested positive this year.

Over the past five years, the number of bats that have been submitted for rabies testing have ranged from 1,300 to 1,700. Where only about 3% actually test positive and bats are normally sent in for testing August and September.

You won't be able to know for sure if a bat, or any other animal, has rabies without lab testing. Although, signs such as a general appearance of sickness or change in the animal's behavior can be seen.

The IDPH does say the best way to keep your pets safe is to not let them roam freely and make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations. Going on to say that if a wild animal does happen to roam onto your property, bring your children and pets inside. You should call animal control if that animal is acting abnormally.

Bats have always sorta creeped me out. The fact that they can just fly down, out of nowhere and attack just wigs me out. I'm always terrified that they'll get stuck in my hair! This just gives me further reason to avoid them!

Thankfully most bats are not infected, but you should make sure your home has no openings for them to make their way in through.

We had one get in our house once and it was not a pretty sight. My cats were trying to catch and eat it. While I was completely freaked out that it was gonna get stuck in my hair or attack my face, so I had to lock myself and the cats in our bathroom till it was caught.

Here's hoping none of us encounter any rabid bats this year!

[MyStateline.com]